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This Customer Really Fired You Up, Eh?

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: GamingMommaX2 | November 10, 2021

Years and years ago, I worked retail as a minor. This was the 1980s, so in some non-corporate businesses, you could get away with this. I looked more grown-up than most kids my age, probably because I dressed more adultly than was usual for a dinky little gift shop.

Customer: “You have to give me a discount! I know the owner! He always gives me 50% off of everything!”

Me: “Lady, I really doubt that.”

Customer: “I know the owner! I’ll get you fired if you don’t give me the discount!”

Me: “Oh, would you, please?! Please get me fired.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “He’s a slave driver! He doesn’t even pay me! I want to be fired!”

Customer: “W-what?”

Me: “The owner is my dad. Now get out. He would never give anyone a 50% discount because we’d be losing money.”

She went all red with embarrassment and rushed out without buying anything. I had to put back everything she had brought to the counter, but it was worth it just to yell at someone. I was the only one in the shop that day since I was covering for my dad, so I knew I wouldn’t get in trouble. And it’s true I wasn’t being “paid,” but my parents paid for my college so that I didn’t have any student loans, so I guess that was fair compensation.

Those Gosh Darn Old People With Their Assumptions

, , , , | Right | October 8, 2021

I help run an indoor market stall as an extension of a family friend’s gift and jewelry shop. I’m only fourteen years old — paid under the table — and my only coworker is my boss’s twelve-year-old daughter.

I’m serving an elderly lady, helping her pick out an ornamental plaque with funny sayings on it, as she wants a gift for her friend.

Me: “This one makes me laugh!”

The elderly lady reads it and laughs, too, picking it up as her first “maybe” choice.

Elderly Lady’s Husband: *Sneering at me* “That’s not the only thing making you laugh, is it?”

Me: “Uh… Pardon?”

Elderly Lady’s Husband: “It’s all those drugs you’ve been taking!”

Me: “What?”

Elderly Lady’s Husband: “Don’t try and deny it. I know you’ve been smoking something!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve never smoked so much as a cigarette in my life.”

The elderly lady’s husband calls me a liar and rants about the youth of today being useless drug addicts.

Elderly Lady: *To him “Bugger off if you’re going to be an a**.” *To me* “I’m so sorry, dear. He turned into a curmudgeon about twenty years ago, and he wears that badge like it’s an honor.”

It was one of the most bewildering things that happened to me at that job. Thanks to NAR, I now see that it’s not just me getting random cranky customers!

You Took Out The Wrong Trash

, , , , | Right | March 9, 2021

A customer I’ve come to remember as The Most Entitled Lady On Earth walks into our gift shop carrying a clear plastic container with food remnants in it. While we do have a trash can behind the counter, we try not to put food in it as it attracts mice. This trash can is not even visible to customers.

Customer: “Where do I throw this away?”

Manager: “There’s a trash can on the sidewalk, just outside the coffee shop next door.”

Customer: *Full of disdain* “I’m not walking that far.”

Then, she deposits her used food container on our counter for us to deal with. My manager and I exchange “Did she really just do that?” expressions. My manager has a kill-em-with-kindness approach to these situations.

Manager: *In an overly sweet customer service voice* “Would you like me to take that out to the trash can?”

The customer replies in a tone that suggests, “Finally, these peons are getting it.”

Customer: “Yes, thank you.”

My manager drops it off in the trash can, not more than fifteen feet outside our store’s front door. The customer browses for a bit, then, without an ounce of self-awareness, asks:

Customer: “So, how long does it take to walk to [Train Station that is roughly a thirty-five-minute walk from where we are]?”

I wish I had estimated for her how many trash cans she might pass on that thirty-five-minute walk.

Brimful Of Anger And He’s Forty-Five

, , , , | Right | February 10, 2021

I work in a gift shop that is open all year round. We have a senior discount that comes with an unfortunate policy: you have to ask to get it. We cannot ask because it offends customers and we get yelled at, we can’t assume because it offends customers and we get yelled at, and we aren’t allowed to modify complete purchases if we aren’t informed before the transaction is completed because then our accounting department yells at us.

We loophole this by having signs with bold lettering in the windows and on each countertop at every till.

A man who has purchased an item previously comes back in to buy two more items.

Me: “Hello again! Found something else?”

Customer: “Yes, and I saw you had a senior discount.” *Pointing at the sign* “I bought something before; can I get it?”

I’d peg this man at maybe forty-five tops, but we’re pretty lenient and don’t ID people. You read the sign, you have someone in your group over the young age of fifty-five, and you get a discount if you tell us before the transaction is finished. This note is also on the sign.

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t! You need to tell us before the transaction is finalized to get it. I can put it on this transaction, though! We have been yelled at for assuming, we’ve been yelled at for asking, and the people who pay us get mad at us for editing transactions, so…”

Normally, this explanation quells anger with most people or at least stops us from getting screamed at. Apparently, that is not the case with this man.

Customer: “Well, those just sound like excuses for not giving it to me.”

I pride myself on customer service, but this comment makes me internally snap. I admittedly break my customer service face a bit and drop my friendly tone for a more serious tone and deadpan stare.

Me: “Well, sir, I would love to just save people money without being verbally abused for it on a regular basis.” *Changing to a sickeningly sweet voice* “Your total is [total]!”

The rest of the transaction was completed in silence on his part. Seriously, people, there is a reason why the cashier can and cannot do things!

If You Expect Customers To Read You Will Be Disappointed

, , , , , | Right | December 19, 2020

It is the middle of December, our busiest season for both in-store and online orders. A customer calls to complain about an order she had shipped.

Me: “Good afternoon, [My Shop]!” 

Customer: “Yeah, my name is [Customer] and I just got an order that I placed on your website; you sent it to me! Why would I want all these boxes sent to me?!

Me: *Looking up the order* “Ma’am, it looks like you used [Customer’s Address] as the shipping information for each box.”

Customer: *Irate* “But why would I send them all to myself?!”

Me: “I don’t know, ma’am. Did you receive a confirmation email for the order?”

Customer: “Of course!”

Me: “And did you verify that the information was correct on that email?”

Customer: “I don’t have time to read things! And I don’t want all these stupid boxes; I’m allergic to chocolate! You have to send them where they were supposed to go!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but as far as we knew, you had told us where they were supposed to go in the original order… so that’s where we sent them.”

Customer: “Well, I can’t be expected to know that. Why would you send all these boxes to my address? You have to send new ones to the right addresses or my Christmas is going to be ruined! I spent all this money and you screwed up the order!”

I was too disgusted and exhausted to continue the conversation. I handed the phone to my husband, who ended up refunding the customer all of her shipping fees. Three years later, I still twitch whenever the phone rings in December.